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“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”- Dorothy in the Wonderful Wizzard Of Oz

November 3, 2014

I still have jet lag.  Wicked jet lag.  Last night I was awake at three am and thought I wrote an entire blog recapping the trip on the Douro.  It was insightful, it was funny, it was poignant, it was alas, a dream because when I actually did wake up a few hours later there was nothing on paper and nothing in my head! Well, we’re certainly not in Kansas or Porto or Madrid anymore and as Dorothy said “There’s no place like home.”


If I don’t put my thoughts to paper soon I fear I am going to lose the gist of what I wanted to say in my final cruise related blog.  So here goes in no particular order of importance some things I would like to say in bullet points of course because – why the heck not.

  • I’d like to thank my wonderful husband Skip for planning the trip and literally making me go.  If it was not for his “encouragement” I would never travel more than a thirty mile radius and that’s probably an exaggeration because I don’t think I would go that far.  I’m a bit of a wuss and do not have the travel bug for many reasons I won’t bore you with here.  Skip in case I forgot to tell you I had a really nice time.  (It’s my favorite line from the movie “Pretty Woman.”



  • I’d like to thank Dave Natale of Friends of Dave Tours for being Dave.  When I first met you four years ago in Germany all I could think was god help me and I am going to kill Skip.  Dave is kind of big personality, and if you know me that kind of thing scares the stuffing out of me.  By the end of our tour day together I thought – THIS WAS THE BEST DAY EVER ON A TOUR. If it was not for you even I doubt that the great and wonderful Skip Shaw could have gotten me to go on a river cruise two years ago and again repeat the process.
Dave Natale

Dave Natale

  • To the Amalegro Eight which has expanded to the Amavida Ten.  Thank you each and every one of you for being exactly who you are.  I am lucky to now include you in my circle of friends.  A friend recently gave me an analogy to think about (I love analogies).  She said I need to try to stop looking so hard at the people across the street who don’t do things I would do to their houses (it’s an analogy remember) and look to the side of the street where people treat their homes the way I do.   Thank you for being the kind of people I would want on my side of the street.   I really like each and every one of you.
    Amalegro Eight

    Amalegro Eight


    Linda and Lissa


    Diana and and an invisible man

















  • Special thanks to the pair of brothers who fortified  wine with grape brandy to maintain its quality during the long trip to England thus creating port wine many centuries ago.  This of course created the need for river cruise for the sole purpose of drinking said port wine.  I can attest to the fact that it is quite good.
Port wine

Port wine


  • The scenery was beautiful of the entire Douro River valley, I wish we had more “sailing” time, but the time we had was breath taking.  To my partner in photography crime Loretta, I don’t think we missed a shot!

























  •  In conclusion I would like to thank the academy the following: the large village which included my wonderful children and daughter in law, my sister-in-law Marybeth and my siblings for taking care and sending me emails that my dad was okay.  I appreciate it more than you could ever know.  To my wonderful dog sitter who cared with her team for the two dumbest dogs on the planet ( but the cutest).  Mandy when you take care of them I have no worries though if you could have taught them to earn their keep as the dogs in Portugal I might learn to play the accordion.
Man with dog with cup begging

Man with dog with cup begging


  • I am certain I have forgotten a million of the funny and insightful things I had to say but I hear the orchestra playing the music telling me it is time for me to finish.  To all that got us there and safely home (most notably Pat Hunt) it is appreciated.  This is not the end of my blogging just of this particular adventure.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

– Mark Twain

From → travel

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